Research

My work concerns forms of psychic unity and disunity. 

I am in the final stages of work on a monograph on split-brain phenomenon, Self-consciousness and “Split” Brains: The Minds’ I, forthcominng from Oxford University Press.

The split-brain phenomenon has tantalized philosophers because, on the one hand, split-brain subjects behave under experimental conditions as if they had two conscious minds apiece, and, on the other hand, a split-brain subject nonetheless seems more or less like a single one of us at the end of the day. Philosophers have overwhelmingly assumed that one of these impressions must be mistaken—that where there is one person, in other words, there can be no more than one mind or thinker. Although this is surely right as a general rule, the book argues that split-brain subjects constitute principled exceptions to it: a split-brain subject is (composed of) two thinkers is one person, because these two thinkers do not recognize each other’s existence. (Research on the book has been supported in part by the Quinn Fellowship at the National Humanities Center during the academic year, 2014-2015.)

Several of my works also concern conscious unity, the relationship between the unity of consciousness and the identity of subjects of experiences, and the possibility of conscious disunity. 

In addition to wrapping up a few offshoots from the book research I am presently working on one project on mindwandering and taxonomies of thought, one on the so-called "avowal view" of self-deception, and one on ADHD, executive functions, and the impact of recent technologies on habits of thought and attention. 

Papers

Forthcoming and in development

Self-deception and psychic economy

The folk psychology of multiple mindedness

Multiple identities: Memory, disunity, and self-conception

The unity of consciousness (for the Routledge Companion to Consciousness)

Representative publications

The split-brain phenomenon (for Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Unity of consciousness. Subjects and objectivity. 

The switch model of split-brain consciousness.

Two unities of consciousness. 

Current Talk: 

Fishing for Selves in Streams of Consciousness